11/11/2003 3:03 PM ET
Statement by George M. Steinbrenner
"While I have great respect for the Baseball Writers' Association of America
and all of its contributions to our national game throughout the years, I
firmly believe that a great injustice has been done to Hideki Matsui.
misguided writers -- Bill Ballou from the Worcester (Mass.) Telegram &
Gazette and Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune -- in voting for
American League Rookie of the Year, clearly made up their own rules to
determine who was and was not eligible for the award and disqualified an
eligible candidate who could have won.
One of the writers in question, Mr.
Ballou, actually said, 'While he [Matsui] is technically a rookie by the
rules of Major League Baseball, he is not a rookie in the spirit of the
Spirit of the award? The award was renamed by the Baseball Writers'
Association to honor Jackie Robinson, its first recipient. Jackie Robinson
came to the Major Leagues after playing in the Negro Leagues, a league whose
high level of play is unquestioned.
This year's voting farce, where the
appropriate qualifications for the award were blatantly ignored, clearly
demonstrates unfairness to first-year players from Japan. And that must be